A Younger Brain, A Happier You

We’ve all had days when we find ourselves sitting at a traffic light and suddenly we realize we don’t know where we’re going. Or, you’re driving to get somewhere and suddenly you realize that you missed your turn because you blanked out on where you were going. Although these are situations that we’ve all experienced at least once, and for some numerous times, it can be completely normal. On the other hand, it may be a sign to which you should pay attention. There are many things that you can do for yourself to insure young vibrant brain function.

Diet, of course, seems to be a very important factor in keeping a young brain. The old saying “You are what you eat” has been haunting us since we were children, yet it is somewhat true. Most diets today seem to have an abundance of sugars. Fast paced lives have led to poor diets and poor health. It is important to monitor the amount of sugar that you intake on a daily basis. It has been noted in research that a high sugar diet can lead to type 2 diabetes as well as developing Alzheimer’s disease. Even more disturbing is a recent research that states that there is evidence that sugar and other carbohydrates can actually disrupt brain function in the absence of diabetes or dementia. The good news is that there is hope. That hope is found in vegetables, which may play an important role in preventing, and in some cases reversing cognitive decline. Because of the antioxidants found in vegetables, they can actually improve your brain function. So, remember what your mom always told you and eat your vegetables.

In addition to eating better, take care of yourself and get some sleep. So many American’s today are sleep deprived due to hectic schedules, financial stress, or stress from work. It is important to take care of you mental health. Understand your body and make a goal for yourself to get uninterrupted sleep. There are many ways that you can promote good sleep without drugs. First, and foremost, listen to your body. When you start to feel tired take the time to rest. If it is night time, take a relaxing hot bath and then treat yourself to some early zzzz’s. Find meditative ways to sooth your mind and soul so that you can leave behind the day and enter in to relaxing sleep. Another way to insure rest is to turn off electronics at least an hour before bedtime. It seems that electronics tend to drain your energy late in the evening, not to mention that if you go to bed with that last email on your mind you are likely not to sleep well.

Physical exercise has long been noted as a factor that allows our bodies to relax, but research also shows that our mind is also helped when we use our muscles. Exercise promotes nerve cell development, which increases the brain cell connections. In animals regular exercise has been found to increase the oxygen rich blood vessels numbers in the brain, which are responsible for thought. Also, in these studies the more efficient brain shows better performance in aging animals. Exercise also links back to the first factor, diet. Exercise combined with a good diet promotes lower blood pressure, less stress, less risk of diabetes, and overall healthier brain and heart.

Mental Stimulation plays a big role in keeping a young mind. It’s time to create a mental “gym”. Studies show, in mice and humans, that mental stimulation and brain activity encourage connections between brain cells and may even promote the growth of new cells. So, get out your puzzle books, crafts, art supplies and get started stimulating your brain. All of these activities encourage thought and creativeness. Think of things that you enjoy or enjoyed when you were younger and less stressed. Pull them all out and decide on activities that will generate thought, problem solving and creativity.

There are many aspects to promoting a young brain. Mix it up and try new things and learn to relax and enjoy your life with a younger brain.

Read more about Tips for a Happy, Healthy Brain.